The Destruction of Art

I should be watching M, but I just don't have it in me right now. Maybe later this week or tonight. My head is killing me, and I got to thinking of some things.

People who know me know I think the idea of stealing art is the highest compliment that can be paid to a piece. Recently, though, I was asked how the theft of art differs from illegally downloading MP3s, which I'm against. The answer is easy enough to be obvious, but I'll explain.

Stealing a one-of-a-kind piece of art is a compliment because the theft (at least how I would do it) occurs because you like the piece so much you must have it. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and you now possess it. Illegally downloading an MP3 is the same as shoplifting a piece of candy from the store. It has nothing to do with art, and is in fact anti-art as it treats the music as just another commodity.

It seems that as of late people have been less and less concerned about the artistic value of things like movies, music, books and the like, and are more obsessed with it being just another product, a fleeting piece of entertainment at best.

We've always had works that are pure entertainment and some that are artistic and entertaining. We've also always had people who can't see anything's artistic value and base their enjoyment of whatever work is in front of them solely on its entertainment factor. MP3s are just another example of this. The music is no longer an artistic work. It is a file floating through the air.

Gone are the days of examining an LP's artwork. Now you just download it and maybe you can see the art on the screen. You no longer have to crack open a book, either. You can just download it to your Kindle. And movies? Well, who the hell would want to download a foreign film, right? Pshaw!

All of that bothers me. Not only because it effects me as a writer, but also because it directly implies that the artist and his or her creativity and worth is not valued by a large portion of society.

I have a friend in a band who asked me if I thought the fines brought against downloaders were enough. I can't say who he is because our conversation was not meant to be published, but he is of the mind that illegally downloading hurts music and also has concerns about how art is treated in American society. My answer to him was that I don't think the fines go nearly far enough because they haven't done much to dissuade the downloading. He asked me what I thought should be done, and I told him that I felt it was up to the bands invovled. I then said if I caught someone stealing something I created, not because it was a one-of-a-kind that they must have, but because they just didn't feel like paying for it, I would cut off their arm. Just one arm. Just to send a message.

He liked the idea.

More important than the punishment, however, is the attitude. When people start treating everything as disposable, it all becomes disposable. I don't want to live in a society that doesn't value the contribution of the artist. I want to be in a place where the artist of whatever work is important. Where the work has meaning. Where art is as important (if not moreso, but that's pushing it) as entertainment. Artists deserve to be reimbursed for their work just as everyone else does, too. Nobody likes working Burger King for free, but imagine if that's what was done to you by your boss. Just because the artist creates something doesn't mean he shouldn't reap benefits from it if it is worthy of such.

(And I understand a lot the record labels are driving these lawsuits and they are just as bad as "pirates" for treating the artists and their musical works as commodities, but the argument does not lose validity because of that.)

I have friends who illegally download movies, music, books and everything else they can get their hands on. And I have heard just about every bit of justification, though nobody has ever really got me to buy their argument. All of them, it should be noted, like to be paid for the work they do.

I wish people respected the work that went into creation. Unless you do it, it's hard to imagine what you go through. It's not like selling auto insurance or even building swimming pools. You are usually creating something from nothing, and when it's treated the same as a roll of toilet paper (if not worse in some cases), it returns it to nothing and shows nothing but disrespect for the creator. If the art and artist means nothing to you, then why not leave it alone? Why not avoid downloading it? Is it somehow morally acceptable to say, "Hey, I know you spent a lot of time creating this. I know a lot of thought went into it and it went through many variations before the finished piece saw the light of day. I know you have bills to pay, too, but I want this and I don't think you deserve to be paid for it. I think it's mine just because I can make it mine. I know a lot of songs are just .99, but I can't even be bothered to pay that. And a movie ticket? No way. It's okay that you make these things, and it's okay that other people pay for it, but don't expect me to."

Imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine you work your 40 hour week (and far too many artists -- it's obscene, really -- do the 40 hours and work at creating) and you come in for your check and your boss says, "Sorry. I just don't feel like paying you."

I can't force anyone to respect art, but I do think we can all reasonably assume that people want their work, whatever it may be, to have value. All those justifications that I hear have been weak because they all boil down to the same thing: You don't value the artist or the art enough to pay, but you value it enough to sit back and enjoy it.

Maybe someday turnabout will really be fair play. In the meantime, I've got my axe sharpened.


With a Future This Bright You Better Bring a Bunch of Fucking Candles

My daughter really wanted to go to that bouncing place in the mall. So I took her. I paid the young guy behind the counter for a half hour. That is, 30 minutes. The guy needed to write our end time on the wristband he was giving us. The time was 12:45. This presented a problem.

The guy wrote a "1" on the wristband. Glanced at the clock. Did the colon. Wrote a "2." Glanced at the clock again. Started to write a "5." Crossed it out. Looked at the clock again. Wrote the "5" again. Glanced at the clock again.

"You okay there?" I asked. I mean, 30 minutes is not hard. The clock was right there. He didn't have to guess. I honestly thought he might be having the beginnings of some kind of seizure.

"Yeah. I ..." He looked at the clock again. "I can't figure out the time."

"1:15," I told him.

"You sure?"

How sure can anyone be about time? Time can be manipulated. If you believe L. Ron Hubbard, time can speed up if you doing something you enjoy. We weren't really dealing with time, though. We were dealing with addition.

"I'm sure."

He writes "1:15." Then he laughs and says, "I've been giving a lot of people extra time today."

That puzzled me, too. We were the only ones in line.

"If you've been giving all of them until 1:25 you have, but I don't know why you would do that for people who came in before us."


That was his answer. Yeah. Then a terrifying thought came to me. I bet this motherfucker drove to work! How safe was that?

At the bounce place a birthday party was going on. It was run by rednecks. I shit you not. The inbred kids were running amok, which caused my daughter to want to cut her time short. We did play a game of air hockey, where one of the Deliverance children decided to start grabbing our puck.

"No. Don't touch it," I told him. "Leave us hit it."

The kid's dad wasn't around. I suppose he was ogling teenage girls somewhere. So this kid decided he didn't need to listen to me ... or his dead had put out so many cigarettes in the kid's ear that he was deaf. Either way, I had to tell him ten times not to touch the damn puck.

I no longer worried about whether or not I hit his fingers and actually kind of wanted to.

I know that sounds cruel, but here's the deal, the moral of this story if you will. Dumb people, the ones who don't listen the first ten times, the ones who don't know how to tell time when that is a job requirement -- they never learn unless there is some sort of pain involved. If you have to tell someone something ten times, they still won't listen when you do it once more. But if they get their fingers slammed, they'll hopefully develop an aversion to whatever action led them to feel such pain. I don't care if he was eight years old or so. My daughter was far younger and if I had told her once to stop doing it she would've listened.

I looked at her and said, "The boy is dumb." She just rolled her eyes.

And that fucker grabbed the puck again.

I kept my cool and the game ended, but man. That was some Lovecraftian god somewhere really trying to push me over the edge. And where was his dad? I never saw him, but I think I may have figured it out. He was working the register and trying to wrap his mind around the concept of 30 minutes.


Another Open Letter to Governor Arnie

Dear Arnie,

As I was driving home tonight, Black Flag and GG Allin dancing through my car speakers, I couldn't help but think of you. I used to be mad that you have, once again, threatened to cut off aid to those California citizens who need it the most (the poor, disabled and elderly -- often one in the same), and then I got wise. I used to think you only thought short term, and then I saw that you really do have a plan in mind.

Ironically, as I write this, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is on my television. Surely you know of it? It has one of the most memorable (and arguably greatest) scores in motion picture history. I believe you or your underlings even used Leone's movie as a reference to the budget situation.

You know, my friends from out of state have asked about you. They've wondered how our state could be in such bad shape. I used to remind them that it is really the citizens' fault. You know, the voters with questionable movie tastes put a man with an admiration for Hitler and a problem with groping women against their will into office. And besides, look how the last actor we elected turned out to be. I'd tell them the only saving grace was that you couldn't run for President. Who knows who you'd fondle then!

But I've changed my tune. Seen the light, if you will. I realize that while pot smoking may have damaged your short term memory capacity, your long term goal setting skills are firmly in place. I can see your plan, too, and I have to agree it's a good one.

Let's say you get your way and you cut off, oh, what everyone refers to as welfare. Money for poor families in the usual guise of single moms. Let's say you cut that program. What will happen?

Mary is a fictitious young mother of one who is one "welfare." You and your cigar buddies, when not pining for the days of the Sonderkommando, probably refer to her as a "leech." It's haunted her all her life, but with a kid, a boyfriend who split, and a state where unemployment is the new employed, Mary had no alternative but to get on public aid. Sure, she could move, but her mom lived down the street, and seemed to be getting weaker by the day, so that wasn't really a feasible plan.

So Mary swallowed her pride, promising herself she'd only be on it as long as she needed it. She'd use it for all it was worth, too. She'd use it to help her find a job, put food on the table, and make sure her kid gets her shots. It was an awkward system at best, but it beat being on the street or sleeping on her mom's couch.

And then you took it away ... or so this future goes.

Mary was terrified. Her mom, who was barely making it on Social Security Disability for a back injury that happened twenty years ago and never got better, helped out as much as she could. She even hired Mary to do her laundry. It was a small gesture, but she had been getting weaker for months now, and was afraid to tell Mary why. Mary's mom, you see, was defecating what looked like blood, and she was dying.

Mary knew something was wrong, and she knew her mom was seeing a doctor. It wasn't the best care, but you do what you can, right? One day while folding laundry, however, Mary found out just what was wrong with her mom. Small blood stains in the panties. Mom was in menopause. Mary, not being a dumb cookie, knew that meant Bad News.

At that point Mary decided she needed to do something. And she vowed to get into school to become a nurse. And she did. She applied for every loan, scholarship and every single bit of financial aid she could. She had to work, too. Part-time jobs when she could find them. Crap jobs. Hell, one time she was almost fired when she didn't give the assistant manager at Taco Bell a blow job. She struggled, and she missed her baby. Missed her first steps because she was waiting tables. Missed doctors appointments because she was in school. Missed her first words because she was doing schoolwork.

She missed other things, too. Free time. A social life. The kiss from a boyfriend she didn't have time for. Her mom's health. Soon her mother wouldn't be able to watch little Patty. Mary didn't know what she would do when that happened, but she would manage. Becoming a nurse meant everything to her. It meant getting out from this life of poverty.

She graduated. She got a job at a hospital. And she got good at it.

And she still missed things as the years went on.

More poor people with no medical coverage meant longer hours. Longer hours meant she missed her daughter's plays. Longer hours meant that boyfriend would have to wait, too. Longer hours meant she knew less and less of her little girl, and even less of the woman she was becoming.

But Mary succeeded. She pulled herself up by her proverbial bootstraps and transferred to a good hospital in Southern California for good money. Gone were the days of not being able to let her daughter join a sports team because money was tight. Gone were the days of worrying about whether or not the car would break down and then she wouldn't be able to fix it. Gone were those days.

And then Patty graduated and went off to college. She was going to go into social work. She was going to help people like her mom. It was something she learned from Mary. Mary was proud of her, too. She wasn't going to miss that graduation.

Mary got to work with the dying. Her compassion, empathy and skills meant that she got to work with those patients who needed companionship more than medicine because they were on their way out, and that's where she met you, Arnie.

No, you don't look the way you look now. The cancer got you pretty good. Started in your lungs. All those cigars and L.A. smog really did a number. Maria, bless her soul, passed on a few years before you. Auto accident.

Mary was astonished to see you. Even more astonished that you had so few visitors other than vampires with cameras and the occasional family member. Mary got to spend a lot of time with you ... alone.

She did most of the talking because you couldn't. The most you could manage was a smile or a gasp or two. But Mary did enough talking for the both of you.

She told you about her life after you took the tiny check from her hands. The check she used to depend on. She told you how she had to stretch the money to make it last, but that she was grateful for it. She told you what happened after you decided the state didn't need to take care of its poor anymore. She told you how she spent night after night crying and studying because her daughter didn't seem to recognize her anymore. She told you how she once found two lumps in her breast and didn't go to the doctor for months because she thought that with Medi-Cal being cut so drastically she'd have no care. She told you of how she used to count the change she found in the couch to see if she could buy her daughter a soda. She told you of the time she dated a mechanic because she knew her car was breaking down and that if it did she wouldn't be able to get to school or work and how badly that would fuck things up. She told you, in polite terms, how he knew she was desperate and often demanded sexual favors she wasn't quite up to performing but did anyway because "I can maybe put that alternator in, hon, but if not it's gonna cost you a lot at some shop." She told you of how her daughter eventually got a job to help out around the house because the nursing gig wasn't paying all the bills when you considered the braces that weren't covered by Medi-Cal, and how she quit after three months because the boss kept touching her. Mary told you how she cried that night ... a situation that happened far too often ... because she remembered thinking how things never change. She told you how her daughter caught her crying and promised she'd do better next time, and how she felt bad she couldn't help out with the groceries anymore.

Mary told you a lot. The anger. The pain. The tears. The rage at not having a helping hand when she needed it most because you decided to make her and people like her a line item on a budget you could barely understand because you never so much as balanced your checkbook. She told you how much it hurt to not be there for her daughter growing up, and how much it tore her up because she had to miss her mother's funeral because it meant not going to work, and the electric was that close to being shut off.

And she asked if you knew what any of that was like. She asked if you had any clue what it was like to really struggle. Not struggle like you were, riddled with cancer and unable to pee on your own, but struggle just to put soup on the table.

Then she asked if you knew what the definition of "easy" was. Then she described it. Easy was leaving a zero off a chart, or adding a 6 in the right place. Easy was reporting you gave certain medicines but actually forgot to. It was easy because Mary was good at her job and trusted. She was a compassionate nurse. Never hurt a fly. She had struggled, sure, but nobody knew why she really struggled. And that's what easy was to her. Easy was being in the position to help the helpless and then doing harm.

And Arnie, I must say, you never looked weaker than at that moment. Lying there in that bed, all ninety-eight pounds of you. Skin like paper on your skull. Muscles that had turned to jelly quite some time ago. Tubes in your nose and penis. IVs feeding you pain meds and something that substituted for food in sci-fi movies like you used to star in. Unable to talk or even turn your head too far. Sometimes your lips were speckled with God-knows-what that came up from your lungs, and Mary always wiped it away as gently as she wiped it away from everyone else.


So easy.

So easy to be the one in charge of helping the helpless and then doing harm. So easy to just forget whatever legacy you leave behind and commit the worst of crimes without any retribution because you can.


Easy to forget to do something, to flub a number, to mess up a chart. Hell, all the doctors knew your clock had stopped ticking quite some time ago. They were just waiting for you to figure it out.


Mary could've taken the high road. She could've used this as an example for her daughter and said, "... and that is why you treat people with respect no matter what they've done."


Mary did the right thing that day. She treated you just like you treated her when the roles were reversed. And she never looked back. Nobody ever said "boo."


You may not care about your legacy, Arnie, but others do. Others whose lives are directly affected by your cavalier attitude toward the most helpless of California's citizens. I don't believe in karma, and the way you're acting says you don't either, but I do believe that people get what's coming to them. Ever see Fight Club? Of course you have. You were -- sorry -- are an actor. Do you remember that scene were our heroes all got jobs serving the likes of you and all the wonderful things they did?

You may lead a privileged life, Arnie. One you may think you earned and deserve. But remember this: Your privileged life doesn't keep you from coming into contact with people whose lives are affected by things like insane budget cuts that make no real long-term sense. Take five minutes and think about the people who bring you your food in restaurants, who fix your brakes, who come into your home, who give you your medicine when you're dying of cancer.

And remember that while it is easy to make those dollars disappear, it's just as easy to say, "Turnabout is fair play."



National Socialists, Revenge, and Creepy Pedophiles

First, if you want to read my piece on National Socialists adopting a highway, just click here.

Onward ...

My daughter had a field trip today. I showed up at school to take her and waited outside her classroom, at which point I was approached by a school employee. She informed me that I could join my daughter in the cafeteria. In order not to appear awkward, I said, "Thanks for coming over to make sure I wasn't a creepy pedophile." Don't know why I said it. I was being sincere. The look I got, though, said I had just come across as a creepy pedophile.

When will I learn to keep my mouth shut?

At the field trip, I had a seat on a bench to watch my daughter do her thing and have fun. I was the only father there. One of the mothers decided to sit next to me (much to my surprise, though I will admit that out of the mothers I always see there, she always seemed to be the most interesting). She set a book down between us. The cover art looked like it was Charles Burns of Black Hole fame (not to mention an Iggy Pop album). I asked if it was Burns, and sure enough it was.


This started a conversation that was pretty damn pleasant. Movies were discussed, and while I usually dread this because at some point someone will say, "I really liked [whatever movie is super fucking popular at the time -- which is Avatar at this writing]. It was cool." I'll cringe and try to relate, but it will be strange at best, and I'll eventually excuse myself to see if I can find life on some other planet.

This woman, however, wasn't adverse to movies with -- gasp -- subtitles! So it was a good conversation. Then we started talking about movies we let our kids see. I mentioned that my girl used to like Kill Bill Vol. 1, but has not wanted to watch it since she got older, and I mentioned how it was never really a big deal. She just doesn't like it now. My daughter, who apparently not only has Daredevil-like hearing, also has an uncanny sense of irony.

My girl came over to us and showed me a scratch on her arm. "A boy did this to me," she said. "I want my revenge. Do you have an axe?"


"A knife?"


"I shall my revenge some other way."

And off she went.

All I could do was look at the other mom and say, "Father of the year."


Howard Zinn dying today bugs me. Celebrity Watchdog George Anthony Watson sent me a link which quotes Noam Chomsky and Ben Affleck. He was one of a small group of people who tell it like it is, who changed the way people view history (much like Chomsky changed the way people translate the news), and acted as inspiration to countless activists. His passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill.

You will be missed, Mr. Zinn.


I Sense Danger Ahead

Since my girl has been sick with me the past three days I've really had a good chance to probe her mind. Yesterday she surprised the hell out of by dissecting a Mickey Mouse television show that was a retelling of Alice in Wonderlandusing different characters and some slightly different situations. She ran through it for me, without knowing the title, pointing out how it related to the Alice story. I thought she was making it up until I started to watch it and realized she was right. Then I used the cable remote to get the title of the show, which we turned on halfway into it. She was a hundred percent on target. It actually gave me chills. She's five, and here she was pulling apart this Mickey Mouse tale the same way I pull apart Kill Bill. She was telling me which characters were being substituted for Alice characters and so on.

I was speechless. Just chills. And then she topped it.

"You know," she said, "they're just playing this to get people to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie."

And then there was today. What happened made me see that come the teen years I have to keep one eye open at all times.

My daughter, who was still with fever, felt well enough to play Monopoly (the Marvel Superheroes version). We had played yesterday, but she quit part way through. I agreed to play again and told her we needed to play for something. I told her if I won, I wanted a kiss (my standard bet). She, grabbing a page out of Sitcom 101, told me that if she won she wanted me to be her butler for a month.


Two and a half hours later I have seven dollars, three lots of property that aren't mortgaged and only one lot with a few newstands (the equivalent of houses). My daughter had all the hundred dollar bills in the game, a small stack of 500s, many lots, many newstands, and a few comic book stores (the equivalent of hotels). I was screwed. And the whole time she kept saying, "I really want a butler. I'm going to make you do everything."

How did this happen?

I started out the game doing a mad grab for property. That's how I play. I try to make sure nobody can develop the land. She skipped purchasing a lot of stuff, focusing only on a few different lots. As I started to get two of a certain color, she would land on the property I needed and would pass on it, saying, "I don't need it now." I couldn't buy it because I did not have enough cash. She realized I wasn't a threat early on. And when I had to sell back my two color properties, she would pick them up as soon as she landed on them.

She methodically, whether she was aware of it or not (and I believe she was), destroyed me. She didn't set me up for failure (I did that). But she saw what was happening and took advantage of it. She was going to win, and she knew it. I was barely hanging on. Another two trips around the board and I was history.

And then she gave up. She had to forfeit. It was a long game, so I don't blame her. I have to admit I was relieved, too, because I would've acted as her butler (a bet is a bet). Not that I'm not her butler now, but knowing her I'd have to walk around with a dish towel over my arm and brush her teeth for her or something.

The teen years have the possibility of being brutal. I have a smart child who is intuitive, too. If she uses her abilities for "evil," I'll be done. She's got me wrapped around her finger already, but I think at that point I'll be hoping for the day where I'm just a butler.


A Day of Mourning

Today, to put it simply, sucked. I think I ruined a good friend's weekend, and I lost a work partner. I had been in the same unit as her my entire career at this job, and it will be weird to not be working in the same area as her. Even went through training with her. She watched out for me. Kept my bullshit level low. Monday is going to be odd for me. Maybe I'll hit the lottery or this cold that came on tonight will get worse.

I think tomorrow will be a day of writing and cleaning. I've got a lot to do, and not nearly enough time, but I need to stay busy. Maybe work on my daughter's Little Big Planet level.

My throat is killing me. I'm tired. I feel evil. I feel drained. I am starting to think my back pain will never go back down to a 5 on the pain scale.

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. Monday will be another day, too, but it won't be the Monday I'm used to.

The devil you know, indeed.


Free Speech For Corporations? Fuck You!

Those who have issues with the idea that corporations are given the same rights as people (and in some cases more) have a real reason to be pissed with today's decision from the Supreme Court. NPR reported it was a 5-4 decision, but in the end the tyrannical corporations won the day.

No limits on campaign spending in federal elections. This goes for unions, too, which also has issues (and I'm a union guy). Over one hundred years of law, which didn't work well enough anyway, tossed into the dustbin of history.

It was a free speech issue, the apologists argued. Indeed it was. Free speech for those who can afford it. (About a $1 billion in the last election came courtesy of special interests -- and that's not the U.S. government definition of special interests -- it's the definition most people think is the U.S. government definition of the word) Turn about is, of course, fair play. If corporations can do even more to influence elections (and all but the most naive among us thinks they don't have a negative effect on our electoral process and "representatives"), then the public can do it's part by boycotting the big spenders (not likely) or fighting back in other ways (disinformation, reporting on the politicos who accept the money, violence if necessary).

While CEOs and shareholders like to use the free speech card (and because a lot of people have a short memory, let's remember how the beef industry treated Oprah Winfrey's free speech), I am actually a proponent of free speech and don't see how this has anything to do with the First Amendment in any real world application. (Though I was surprised that the Court included the unions in this, as this country has been nothing but anti-labor and very open about it since the Reagan years). All it does is give the corporations carte blanche to openly buy the candidates and control the issues even moreso than they do now. The major corporations control the media like Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal -- all of which act as gatekeepers for issues and candidates. Pre-approved candidates get to address pre-approved issues (and that is not conspiratorial -- its ingrained into the system and needs no back door planning to happen) in safe forums. The corporations could spend lots of dough before through PACs, but now they don't even have to do that.

In fact, the only thing really stopping them is whether the union members or shareholders have issues with where the money is coming from -- and that could end up being a legal battle of a different sort.

Going back fairly far in history, you may remember the last time the decidedly conservative Supreme Court was so bold. It was quite some time ago, but you may recall Bush being placed into power by the Supreme Court, which has, if my memory serves me correct, two appointees there courtesy of the man the Court put into power.

And yet people were still surprised. Hell, I actually was when I heard the news this morning. A hundred years of law down the tubes like that in a special session that was ordered to be expedited by Congress.

In all fairness, the ruling in the ironically titled case Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee would have probably come next week, but one can imagine Congress and corporations (and labor unions' more corrupt members) erect at the prospect of the coffers being filled and candidates being bought. It also brings to light an important question: Just what the fuck is Citizens United?

Hop onto the website for the group and the first thing you notice is that is "dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control." Who doesn't like that idea?

Citizens United.

If you look at the DVDs being plugged on the site, you start to see the general mindset of Citizens United. There are films panning Michael Moore, Hilary Clinton, illegal immigration, Barack Obama and more. And then there are movies about rediscovering God in America.

David Bossie is the president of Citizens United. If his name sounds familiar to you, it's probably not for his martyr-like support of free speech issues, but rather his investigations in Whitewater and a CBS report that stated he used "police state" tactics to badger the family of Susann Coleman in order to try and prove she committed suicide because she had an affair with Bill Clinton.

That's the kind of guy I want defending free speech and restoring citizen control to government. I'm glad he's on our side.

If you read the citation on Wikipedia, Bossie was accused of editing a video to make sure any positive references to Webster Hubbell were cut out, which led Newt Gingrich to order him to be fired from his position of an investigator for Dan Burton (Indiana Representative). Bossie states he resigned.

Two-mate-oh, toe-maht-toe.

But lest you think Republicans are unanimous in their love of Bossie, George H.W. Bush told citizens not to follow the man's campaigns because they utilitized "filthy campaign tactics." If Bush hates you ...

And all of this came about because Bossie was denied the right to advertise the release of his attack documentary Hillary: The Movie.

Democracy and free speech exploited and manipulated (as it always has been, but now it's more open) by one ultra right-wing conservative attack dog with a hard-on for liberal blood. A man Gingrich ordered fired and Bush considered to be underhanded.

What can you say about a man who fights on the same side as those people, yet is vilified for the way he handles things?

If you're a corporation you say, "Thank you."


A Day of Disdain

There are days I would not mind being ignorant, happy, a walking lobotomy. Unable to discern where my thoughts and those of the rest of the world begin and end. Blind to my own hypocrisy. Making my morals and values disposable like my heroes. Weak. Wouldn't mind having someone dictate my every move while totally loathing them for the control I willfully give them.

I just don't see that happening, though.

Love the symbolism of the Black Sun. The occult. Nazis. It's all so pulp fiction that you can't help but be fascinated by the mindset that leads you to that place. What makes for believers? What makes for followers? What makes people so weak?

I don't know, but I think I might be able to find out by looking at you. Deeply into your eyes. See you wrapping yourself around your disgust like a snake wrapping around a dead bird. If I watch long enough, I'll see you swallow that meal and take it into your DNA.

Symbols. Believers. Followers. Weak.

It may as well be Monday.

Rant is over. Off to work. Enjoy the day and do something good and meaningful with it.


My Spirit Guide

Yesterday, after having a bad day and getting some bad news I just played GG Allin's "Carmelita" over and over on my MP3 player. Sometimes it takes every ounce of self control I have to get through the day without totally going off on someone.

I'm hoping today will be better. I have my sincere doubts. I think today will be a lot more of the same.

At least we're in the middle of a huge series of storms. I like that. I like the rain and wind having its way with the land. I like the feeling that things can happen at any moment. I like the isolation it brings.

I don't believe much in things like "seasonal disorders." I rank it right up there with "social anxiety" (hey, you used to be shy) and the use of Ritalin to control ADD kids (hey, you used to hyperactive). I think people have gotten so out of touch with themselves and their emotions that every little thing that causes a reaction is now some kind of disorder or disease.

The wind and the rain prove that those things don't matter. They show that nature is bigger than us, and I like that.

I'm going into today with a positive attitude. I will lay my head down tonight exhausted and drained. I will pray for the day I don't have to deal with anyone I don't want to deal with. I will pray long and hard on that.

And until then, there's GG.


The Story of Film Threat

You wanted the updates. I've written on it on my other blog, which you can find here. It's a sad day for indie cinema.

That's all I have to say.


A Missed Opportunity: California Could've Had a New Governor!

I was going to be writing for Associated Content tonight, but I don't think that site will want what I'm about to write. It needs to be said, though, so with Movie Star Junkies blaring in the background, I will do my best.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Eureka, California today. He came to glance at the damage caused by Saturday's 6.5 earthquake. He spoke in Old Town. Pontificated about helping those in need, coming to the aid of those in emergency situations, referenced Haiti (which is only an emergency situation when something like a 7.0 quake happens -- which is all part of the problem). He smiled. Promised that monetary concerns come second.

I hope the irony wasn't totally lost.

Why is it that longterm, perpetual economic policies that hurt the disenfranchised, poor, elderly and disabled are budget cuts, but acts of nature are emergencies -- as if the two don't sometimes go hand in hand?

I guarantee that Schwarzenegger's economic policies, which have resulted in 200,000 state workers losing 14% of their pay, massive cuts to social programs and little else, have done more damage than Saturday's earthquake. Yet, somehow, this was not brought up. Not even part of the discussion, and most likely not part of the thought process.

And then there's Haiti, a country were poverty is the national status quo. Had the nation had more real economic support (and far less corruption), perhaps the buildings wouldn't be in such a state of disrepair that the dead line the streets and crowd carports while children sleep amongst the rotting bodies.

Yeah, our earthquake caused problems. A hip was broken. Lots of property damaged. To have this governor come drop in for a visit, though, and claim he's going to make everything all right is akin to getting reassurance from John Wayne Gacy that the teen boy's home he's going to oversee is in good hands. Actions speak louder than words, and past actions often dictate future results.

Fortunately for Arnie, people suffer from short term memory loss.

Why, after all our experiences with the last actor we elected, would Californians elect a man who openly supported and admired Hitler, of all leaders to run one of the biggest economies in the world? "I admire Hitler," he said in the past. "... because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."

Mirror and I went to lunch today. I was driving. We passed near where Arnie was speaking. I beeped. It was that or drive my car through the crowd to run his ass over. I have a child, though, whom I love dearly and jail just isn't in my future. (They'll never take me alive!)

It was a good thought, though. Payback, if you will. Yeah, I support politically motivated assassinations as acts of self-defense because the average citizen in the face of what amounts to economic terrorism at the hands of a man with all kinds of uncomfortable ties to National Socialism have little recourse but to use violence. The average Joe can't hurt Arnie and the other politicos pulling the strings economically, but violence is a great equalizer ... just ask the U.S. government.

(As an aside, at least one person jokingly asked if I had plans today, in reference to Arnie. I had found out about his speaking far too late, or I would've taken the day off to protest and call him out on his shit. I wouldn't have really tried to run him over for the reasons stated, but if someone would've taken a shot, I would have only clapped.)

Our "leaders," the people we "elect" have done nothing to benefit the average citizen since I can remember. Even the great hope that is Obama has been nothing but a talking head failure whose policies follow far too closely in the previous administration's footsteps. This is Arnie's last year. Once gone he will hopefully, like the Hitler mustache his father used to sport, go out of style. I just fear the legacy he leaves will cripple California even worse than it is now. I hope he leaves with his tail between his legs instead of kicking us in the balls one more time.

Seeing his smug face on the news reminded me of how much people are afraid to actually say something like, "Good thing you're here. Nice to be noticed, and thanks for helping. But what about the 364 days out of the year where you are doing your absolute best to piss in the face of people confined to wheelchairs and families who can't afford medical care? Where's the emergency help there? Just because a building isn't falling doesn't mean lives aren't damaged and turning to shit. Open your fucking eyes and see through that cloud of cigar smoke. You are directly ruining people's lives, and yet you throw around words like 'help' and 'aid' as if you mean it."

Nobody. Not a soul. Not a word. At least not that I heard.

Leaders, those people in power who are there in an unjustified position, need to be grilled, need to be confronted, need to be made to feel uncomfortable. Instead, they feel sacrosanct. Untouchable. Sublime.

The day Reagan died was a day of great joy in my house.

I'm having a glass of wine the day Arnie dies. I'm going to watch Total Recall and sip away as I think of all the people he harmed through his wanton acts of budgeting. And then I'll lament the day I could've hit the gas and plowed forward. I wouldn't want to harm innocents, and luckily I'm not a Nazi sympathizer like California's governor with the belief that the end justifies the means.

I guess he can be thankful that not everyone is as big a prick as he is ... and that some of us don't forget.


Eureka Earthquake: Holy Fucking Shit!!! Part 4

It's been four days since the quake hit Eureka, California. Buildings are still closed. Damage estimates rollecoaster (the most I've heard is $28 million, but has since gone down). People are still rattled, as is to be expected. A huge quake hit Haiti yesterday, and the citizens there are in far worse shape than us potheads.

Every day the chance of a big aftershock diminishes. We have disappeared from the news. All of this is, I think, good. It lets people get back to normal. Clean up both physically and mentally. I just found a piece of a plastic Star Wars bust that I thought was lost in the quake. I imagine as I open cabinets in the garage I'll find more damages. It's okay, though. It feels like the worst is over ... for now.

Quakes are just a part of Northern California. One day we will split down the middle and the Earth will suck us in or release demonic creatures that will peel the skin from our bones. Either way, I don't want to go through that shit again. 6.5 was bad enough. Any bigger and I don't know what I'll do. I joke with people at work that if the lights go out that they have about ten minutes before I revert to cannibalism (as if I were there in the first place).

Okay, I gotta run to my job and hope for the best. Like the quake, sometimes it's just a rough riding day.


Eureka, California Earthquake Video: Holy Fucking Shit!!! (Music Sucks)

Celebrity Watchdog George Anthony Watson sent me a link to this. Lord, forgive the music. Don Chin knows not what he is doing. Nice bit of trivia, Chin is one of the minds behind Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. I shit you not. Anyway, watch the video with the sound down if you can help it.

Eureka Earthquake: Holy Fucking Shit!!! Part 3

Well, the earthquake was Saturday. It is Monday. Not much is back to normal. Work was a disaster. Plenty of friends have damaged homes and apartments. I can't get to my mail. A building in Old Town, Eureka, California (for those who don't know) may be demolished after part of its wall crashed onto the roof of the building next to it.

Yeah, it's gonna be some time before life is status quo. The streets didn't have many cars on them. The Bayshore Mall is still apparently closed, except for Kohl's. Last report I heard was $12.5 million in damages. Humboldt County is hoping FEMA kicks in some financial help.

The threat of magnitude 5 or greater aftershocks is down to 38%, which is great. Those are odds I can live with. My nerves are on edge. We have a storm coming in. It is eerie out. Plenty of people feel the same way.

Associated Content picked up my earthquake piece. You can read it below. I think that will get some reads. Everyone loves eyewitness accounts.

I really don't like this shit.

Aftermath of the 6.5 Quake that Rocked Northern California
Far too many damaged buildings.
I hope earthquake weather is a myth. Very warm here. Cool breeze, however.


Eureka Earthquake: Holy Fucking Shit!!!! Part 2

I finally got all the shit up off the floor, threw away a lot of broken stuff, and read a report or two online. Local stations are off the air. The earthquake that hit Eureka, California and surrounding areas was bad.

Some updates, and then I need a Tylenol III. My back is killing me. Being thrown off balance into a metal rod will do that.

My power came on around 8. Don't know if anyone else is out still, but a PG&E spokesperson on the radio said it may be a few days before some people get power. I ventured out to find food around seven. Air smelled of smoke for some reason. Firetrucks patrolled downtown shining lights on buildings as they looked for cracks and whatnot. One section of town had electric. All the gas stations were packed. McDonald's had a line of cars to the road. Big Pete's had a line to the door (damn them). Burger King closed. It sounded like the worker said they were out of food. My friend had a broken apartment window and reported that the windows on the new senior center were all broken out.

The Bayshore Mall apparently had people taken out in ambulances. I read reports of tiles falling from the ceiling as well as the floor buckling. The mall is in a spot where, if a big enough quake were to hit, the ground would literally turn into something quite like quicksand.

We have had aftershocks. Haven't felt one for a few hours.

I have some collectible toys that were broke, a piece of art destroyed, a framed photo had the glass broken, stacks of CDs fell, cups fell, toys in my daughter's room were set free from their spots in the closet and on the shelves, the soap and shampoo in my shower hit the tub and have sprayed their contents everywhere. Power poles have toppled. Some houses may have broke free of their foundations.

You ever want to feel small? Stand in your house as it shifts in space and tilts a little, like it's a boat on a rough sea. If that doesn't make you feel tiny and useless, nothing will.

My one neighbor told me he had just climbed a ladder into his attic when it happened. He was lucky to not have broken his neck.

King Salmon residents evacuated on their own. Smart.

Apparently there was no threat of a tsunami, but the sirens apparently went off to advise people to get to higher ground. I reported in the first earthquake post that the water in the bay did look like it was leaving ... being pulled back toward the ocean. I wasn't the only driver to see it, either.

Several people are reporting missing pets. Apparently the animals freaked out and took off. I can relate.

I had reports from others of plenty of broken windows in their home.

Okay, pain pill needed. Ironically, my mail pile had a letter from my insurance company that I got on Wednesday. The topic? Getting earthquake insurance. Obviously, this act of nature is part of a conspiracy courtesy of my insurance agency.

Damn, I am bit freaked to go to bed tonight.

Eureka Earthquake: Holy Fucking Shit!!!!

I write this with a laptop battery not fully charged, by candlelight, with the hiss of my house phone threatening to drive me insane.

The earthquake was bad. 6.5. Bad enough. Eureka, California all over the fucking news.

I was putting away some pants, thinking of going to get a hoagie to scarf down before the Eagles game. I thought I heard a truck. Then I thought I felt it. (As I wrote that there was a slight aftershock.) The house shook and I was thrown/lost my balance and felt my spine hit my metal bed post. I knew then it was an earthquake.

I went to the doorway in my bedroom, thankful my daughter wasn't here to experience it, but worried as to what she may be going through. I braced myself. I watched as it looked like my house was attacked by a poltergeist. Things were flying off the shelves and walls. I could hear glass breaking.

And then the front of my house moved.

Not shook. Moved. To the right. A lot.

I screamed something. Maybe, “Oh my God!” I realized the house may be coming down, and I bolted for the door.

It really takes longer to read this then to experience it.

Something flew from my one cabinet and hit my head hard. I think it was a new can of shaving cream. I found it in the debris.

By the time I got to the door, it had stopped. I kept my television from toppling, and then the aftershocks came.

I don't know exactly what happened next. I grabbed my phone to call my daughter. It was hissing (still is), but I couldn't connect. I used my cell and left a message at her house. But then the cell died. I heard sirens in the distance. People on my block were fleeing their homes.

I have never experienced anything like this before, and I was suddenly very worried for my daughter.

I tried calling my mom. Nothing. I tried Nikki. Nothing. She's the most tech savvy woman I know, so I knew she would be on this shit, but I needed to get a hold of her. I tried to send a text. Nothing. No service. Unable to get through. My street was lining up with cars. A fire truck was pushing its way through. My text must have gotten through. I got a reply. If I got a reply, my phone was working. I called my daughter. Their phone wasn't working. I called Nikki. She was, like I expected, on her shit with this. She was giving me numbers, miles, epicenters, reports. I was taking it all in, but not knowing what was registering.

My back is in agony now. Agony. It was only slightly hurting then. Adrenaline. Love it.

I left a note on my door in case anyone came looking for me. I then let my neighbor know that if he saw my daughter to tell her I was on my way to her house.

Getting out of town was a fucking nightmare. I had the radio on to listen to reports. One station was on the air. I had Nikki on my cell, most likely worried about me driving with what could be a head injury. No tsunami warning, but as we crawled through the safety corridor on 101 between Arcata and Eureka, a few drivers saw what I did: the water seemed to be draining from the bay.

In hindsight, I don't know if this was low tide, but it was definitely not the amount of water I expected to see. The driver's that noticed it started to speed up, but not enough other drivers took their cue. I was almost hit twice.

I made it to my daughter's she was fine. That terror was over, and I was in pain. My ex's husband offered me a lantern because my power was out. A very kind gesture that I appreciated but turned down. I figured I had candles and a flashlight. I'd be okay. I hugged and kissed my girl good-bye. And then I tried to make it back.

There was still a mass exodus, and emergency vehicles shot through traffic. I noticed some lights on in the distance, which meant part of Eureka had power. I also noticed lots of flashing lights of cop cars. A lady on the radio reported that the Bayshore Mall had started to fill with smoke when she left.

I could not believe this. The adrenaline was wearing off. I was in massive pain. I had a lot to clean up. I had no power. Flashlight batteries were dead. Lots of voice mails on cell, which was dying. Lots of text messages. One of my bookshelves almost came apart. I put it back together, but not without most of the books falling onto me. I grabbed a plate to eat a brownie my daughter made and ended up having all my cups fall out my cupboard.

I still hear sirens.

It's 6:40 as I write this. My cell is on its last bar. I have no way of charging it. People are shouting outside. I just picture looters. I know that won't happen ... thankfully. I'm in no position to fight. I'm exhausted, honestly. Starving. I've talked to my mom. She got the message I had Nikki leave.

I feel like throwing up.

Forgive this if it isn't perfect writing. I don't really care at the moment. My head hurts, my back hurts, and I spent a lot time worrying about my little girl.

This is not how I envisioned Saturday going.

For My Friend Mirror

You know, I bet there are three bodies in this guy's basement. All teen boys. All missing genitalia.


Voodoo shirt on. Dinner a bust. On the cusp of evil. Feeling brutal. In pain.


The Herd

I've never been big on religion or even spirituality, though I believe spirituality is more effective than religion. I just find the belief in a higher power or powers to be an easy way to shrug off responsibility for your actions and feelings. Some people find comfort in such beliefs, and that is fine, but overall I think the concept of a higher power is far too often used as a tool of control over people who have a hard time thinking for themselves (and thankfully something is keeping those people in check) and as a scapegoat for when a person's bad choices come back to bite them in the ass ("Oh well. God has a plan."). I have plenty of religious friends and spiritual friends, and sometimes we talk about these things. I tend to avoid the conversation, though, as I know it is most likely going to go nowhere for either side.

One thing that really bothers me about the idea of other beings that somehow have influence over our actions, thoughts and destiny, or are even there as creators, is that if you start to have so much belief in something you can't see or prove (and the reason it is faith and not science is because there is no proof), then it sets you up to believe anything. Blacks, women and homosexuals are inferior to you; karma; and so on. You can start to justify just about everything, and that control issue ends up going both ways.

Various religions have used faith as a means of controlling everything from education to birth control. (And while spirituality in its pure form doesn't subject you to the same kind of control, it does still work to absolve people of responsibility.) This control can also be used against you from people who don't share your faith. My use of the "Satanic" image will bother some of my friends. It was meant to. I did it to prove a point. To me it's a picture (though I find Satanism as presented by the capitalistic Church of Satan to be purer and more honest than other religions). To others it is a symbol of evil. The only use it has to me is to bother those who make Satan their Joker to their Batman god.

I don't mind that people are religious and spiritual. In fact, I believe most people need that for comfort, guidance and a sense of self-worth. I think that many (not all) of these people have some real issues that they need to be worked out, and religion or faith or spirituality helps them do that. I'm not some guy who wants to see religion abolished, either. I wish people had the strength to break their chains from false beliefs (and all the control those beliefs exert over them both overtly and subconsciously), but most people don't. Because of that I am thankful there is something there to keep them in line, to keep them acting straight because they are afraid of what will happen if they don't, to keep them from overbreeding. But there is a problem with all that, too: Those who have faith and all the morals that go with it don't often act that way.

Morals and values are matters of convenience for most people. They refer to them when they judge other people. They utilize them when it won't affect their lives. As soon morals and values create an obstacle to what a person wants to do, they ignore them. Some will beg for forgiveness for their trangressions ... and receive it. Others will be racked with guilt. So, as a control mechanism it doesn't always work, but it's better than nothing. It's when it starts to infringe on the rights of non-believers that I have a problem with it (such as when religion is used as an argument to curtail women's reproductive rights).

As much as I value freedom and responsibility, I understand that there are those among us that can't handle it or don't want it. I find that odd, but so be it. I'm glad that many of those people have some imaginary thing being to look to for the answers to all their little problems. I don't even care if it tells them crazy things like women are property ... as long as they don't try to enforce those oddities on others.

I'll leave things on this note because I must get going. Years ago, when I worked in a factory, a female supervisor had me fill out a medical emergency contact sheet. She knew about my "lack of faith" and asked me who I called on when I was hurt and in trouble. "The ambulance," I replied. She told me she called on Jesus. I wished her luck with that. I was sure that if she fell down at that moment and broke her arm, it wouldn't be Jesus fixing it. (This was the same factory where people used to ride me about my lack of belief in God. I would tell them I needed proof, and if there was a God he would strike one of them down on the spot to give me that proof I needed. Boy, would they flip out.)

Foolish notions and control. Byproducts of a flawed believe system.


Life During Wartime

Welcome back to Humboldt, friend. You had me worried. Still am. I know, though, that you do what you got to do and none of it is unjustified. I wish you saw in yourself what I and all your friends see. I see who gravitates around you. Good people. Solid people. People who care.

They say you and I are alike, and I think there is much truth to that. We watch who we let in. We watch what we let out. We feel safest, most comfortable alone. We are sick of the inhumanity that masks itself as "humanity." We are sick of a civilization that is most uncivilized.

I'm glad you're back. I'd like to say it was for the best. I don't know if it is.

Welcome back.

Keep your eyes open, boots on and gun loaded. But also remember ... we care.

Other Associated Content Pieces Published

The first two have seen the light of day, so it looks like I'm going to keep up with this, probably hitting it hard this weekend.

Hawaiian Food in the Redwoods: The Banana Hut is Open for Business

Little Big Planet's PSP Adventure
Cannot wait for highlights of governor's speech.


Destiny Will Be Kind

Another tired post. The The have this great lyric. I hope I got this right. "Everyone 'round here thinks they're somethin' special/That destiny will be kind." I like it because it's true ... and destiny is rarely kind.

I was told today that I was compassionate, and that people liked dealing with me. Then the question was thrown out there: How long can your psyche handle what you are dealing with? I think a year ... and that's thinking that destiny will be kind.

And then I saw this ...

A man on television was asked what he does for a living (I have no idea what is on television). He replied, "I'm more of a socialite." The woman said, "So you do nothing then?" Ain't that right. If you consider being a "socialite" as doing something, then you pretty much have announced to the world that you are using vital oxygen and resources to keep your unproductive ass going. If I met this guy and he told me he was a socialite, I would be hard pressed not to either A) hit him, or B) make him explain that to me in a way that would make me not want to hit him.

I don't know why that bothered me so much, but it did. I think I just had it with people who thrive on and create drama, who create their own problems and then freak out when they come to a head, and those who slither through life sucking dry the mental, physical, emotional and financial stocks of those around them. I've had friends like that. It's always bugged me.

A socialite. Seriously. Said with pride. I'm more of a socialite. I think if I ever said that seriously, and not in my usual sarcastic, mocking way, the sound that would follow would be that of a the gun going off in my mouth. What a way to announce to the world that you are a waste of space. Cancer. Suicide. Victim of a terrorism attack. Do something already. Jesus.

And for you Eureka residents, KIEM news just reported that the water and sewage rate hikes (which were set to be financially crippling -- I had already had plans on how to deal with and make up the money) were put on hold for now because City Hall filled up with seniors who were protesting the hikes. The hikes were going to double (at the least) people's water and sewage bills. It's back to the drawing board now because one group of voters you don't want to piss off is seniors. (You can wait for them to die, but more take their place every day.)

Tomorrow our governor, that drooling madman, will deliver his State of the State address where he is sure to talk of new ways of fucking the poor and disabled up the ass with his herpe-sore riddled penis. It'll be good for them, he'll say. It'll force them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, like he's had to do. When the fuck are we going to stop hiring actors to pretend to be politicians? This guy is a psychopathic clown with a hard-on for wrecking people's lives. Hell, the furloughs are under attack. So he talks lay-offs. The state is facing a $21 billion deficit. He will talk about how the poor suck that from CA's tit through those welfare programs that are making people rich. He won't, I'm sure, talk about tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. That's the difference between "special interests" and "national interests" (or in this case "state interests"). Special interests benefit people. National (or state) interests benefit corporations. This economic crisis the country is in wasn't caused by the poor. Last I checked, an unchecked Wall Street decided to really play pimp to the whore in us all, and in turn savaged itself, too (something that is delicious on a few different levels). Tomorrow's speech will be interesting. We'll see what happens, but I think things will be bleak until he's no longer employed by the public he continues to keep fucking without protection.


Body Contortions and Agony

My daughter was having trouble sleeping. Every once in a while this happens, and she had a short nap today, so I thought this might happen. I laid in bed with her, as I do every night, to help her get to sleep. She grabbed my goatee and I twisted funny. Felt my spine seize up, but since she was just getting to sleep I didn't want to move.

And then I couldn't move.

If you have back problems, you know that feeling. It's odd, to say the least. Suddenly you realize you cannot move left, right or in any other direction you might need to go. You aren't paralyzed but you may as well be.

Eventually she fell asleep, let go of my goatee and rolled over. I still could not move. I was in utter agony. Very glad I went to the doctor to get my prescription filled, but since I hadn't taken one of the pills in a while, and I need to be alert when my daughter is here, I wasn't going to take one. No matter, though, because even if I wanted to, I couldn't get up to get them.

I finally made it out of her room, but not without gritting my teeth in pain. The closest way to describe the pain would be to say it felt like someone had taken a pick axe, rammed it through my back so it went behind my spine and poked back out the flesh, wedged it and then gave it a hearty twist to let me know they care.

Fucking brutal.

All for laying funny.

I've put my body through a lot of abuse in my younger days. Ten hour days skateboarding takes its toll. My knees and ankles are shot. I've been hit by a car. I've raced downhill and have wiped out where I ended up in rocks. Fallen in half pipes. I should be lucky I'm not in more pain. I feel it every day, though, and times like this remind me of how bad it can be.

I wanted to make my phone call tonight, edit a piece (I don't trust myself to do it right now), and watch the news. Instead, I checked e-mail and decided to write on here. I am having a hard time moving, so I'm going to try to go to bed, though I doubt I'll sleep much. If I take my pill, I have a feeling I won't wake up in time. I'm not complaining about that. I'll never be a parent who lets his pain stand in the way of being alert for his daughter's sake. That's not me. But I do realize this is gonna be a long night.

Maybe I'll do that editing anyway ...

New Writing Gig

I've submitted three things to Associated Content (very low pay, but it's supplemental). The last of the three was accepted. I'm hoping the other two will be, and may be branching off onto other sites after I see how this plays out. Anyway, here is the piece:

Slasher Fans Rejoice! House on Sorority Row 25th Anniversary Edition DVD to Be Released

Let's Hear it for the Good Ol' Days (aka Justice With a Knife)

. This Monday is not working out very well. Not very well at all. It'll be better once I have my daughter with me tonight, but until then I feel like I'm on a real short fuse and probably should not be going to work. I should probably hole myself up in the house and keep away from people until this dark mood passes.

I feel like dealing with people the way they need to be dealt with, and that won't go well at all.

On a brighter note, people who are unemployed in California are being told they may want to look to moving out of the state as other states have more job opportunities. More program cuts are coming to my state, too, because, as we all know, the Enron-like accounting tricks used on the last budget are only going to compound the deficit problem we have. Not since Reagan kicked all those mentally ill out has California faced such a potential disaster as thousands of disabled people face losing the places they call home. Imagine places like Ukiah, San Diego, and even Eureka looking like Calcutta with better scenery. People in failing electric scooters, rusting leg braces, shirts stained with drool and feces with their hands out begging for whatever change you can spare. And those are just the ones who can beg. There are others who will be wandering the streets like zombies, and still others propped up in corners.

Obviously that is an exaggeration, but the budget woes do mean that people with disabilities may lose their place to stay as a lot of the programs that house them are forced to shut their doors. Those unemployed care providers may be able to move out of state and find other jobs, but what about the people they care for? They will not be so lucky.

Yeah, this Monday is shaping up to be quite a day. Justice like a knife.